“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)

When we read Hebrews chapter 11 (Often called the “faith” chapter) we read not just about the definition of faith but we read the names of those who demonstrated it and what it looks like when it is lived out.

Last week I shared with you one of my journal entries from my missions trip to Asia and today I want to share with you that it is not just the faith of “dead” people that still speaks to us today.  I was blessed on my Asia trip to be accompanied by some very special people who love Jesus very much.

Nearly all of them were from different denominational backgrounds and yet we were all there for the same purpose, to bring the Word of God to Asia.

Today I could spend a long while talking about “Lou” the single man in his 60’s who has been an absolute “machine”- bringing Bibles to Asia by leading Bible printing projects and leading multiple trips per year to Asia while training up teams that eventually go out on their own to bring the Word to different countries.  Or it would be easy to reflect on Don and Joy who are the ones responsible for getting me to go on that life changing trip.

There is Steve, Daniel, Gerry, Dee-Ann, Leena , Lee, Rose, Joshua, and Toby, all of these represent people from 4 different states and three different countries who came together for such a special trip.

But as I reflect on Hebrews 11 there is one lady on our trip that inspired me perhaps more than everyone, her name is Nancy.

I don’t know the details of Nancy’s life, but I do know that she was living the life of an ordinary young lady attending college in California when she began dealing with serious bouts of depression.  Even though she accepted Christ in her late twenties, her depression struggles made life very difficult. She said, “It was like going down a slide with nothing to hold onto”.  It threatened her marriage and strained her relationship with her only daughter.

In her early 40’s Nancy was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder as well as schizophrenia.  A few years ago she began attending church with Don and Joy. When she heard the testimonies of Don and Joy coming back from their trips to Asia she purposed in her heart to go on a trip.

The medication she takes causes weight gain, short term memory loss, and causes her hands to “tremor” (sometimes severely).  She approached Don and Joy about going on the Asia trip and I think they attempted to share the complications of her going on a trip like this with some of her physical limitations.

After it was obvious that she had her heart set on going Don agreed to bring her on the trip. Don asked that she begin walking daily and commit to losing 20 lbs if she really wanted to go. She hit the treadmill soon after and began walking four or five times a week until she got up to 4 mile walks.

Fast forward to our time in Asia, Nancy was so inspiring to me because she never quit!  I knew that the crossings we made were at times demanding, dragging a heavy suitcase for miles, lifting it up onto buses, and sometimes carrying it up and down stairs.  You could tell she was tired but never once did she show signs of stopping.

At one crossing she was stopped and the customs agent made her open her suitcase.  He was taking the Bibles out and as fast as he could take them out she was putting them back in!

She kept telling him “I need these!”

I have no clue what was going through the mind of this Asian customs agent but he only took half of her Bibles and let her keep the other half!

Another time she was stopped and her books were seized and she was in line waiting for her seized passport amidst “pushy” and angry nationals that were in line. (They called this the infamous “Window #1)  The stress was getting the best of her when an Asian woman came and did a sign of a cross on her chest put her finger to her lips to say “shhhhh” then took her hand and prayed for her. Nancy said she had a calm and peace from that moment on.

One evening when we were all pretty tired after making several crossings, it was dark and I was ready to go get a shower and retire for the evening, I saw Nancy and she told me that she had got stopped again and had to wait over an hour to get her passport back, I assumed she was done for the evening, but not Nancy, she wanted to make one more run! Once she had reloaded she headed to the border and crossed again and made it!  I felt like such a wimp compared to her.

I said “If Nancy can keep going like that then I purpose tomorrow to make three trips in a row no matter what!”

I made no excuses for weariness or fear but kept thinking about her the whole time and not only made my three crossings but finished out the last day pulling a suitcase with one wheel at record pace!

Sometimes God uses the most unlikely to demonstrate His glory and to reveal His presence.

Nancy despite her handicaps served God and provided me and the rest of our team with motivation and courage.  I will ever be grateful for her witness, her faith and her determination.  We prayed for her often during our trip and know that God is able to heal her completely, but even in her infirmity, she remains faithful and a useable vessel for God.

I hope this week we can pray for the kind of faith that will inspire others to do great things for God, I hope we can stop praying “Lord use me” and start praying “God make me useable!”

God uses Nancys.


5 thoughts on “God Uses Nancys

  1. Very encouraging article PK. When we lived in California, God placed an lady in our ministry like your Nancy. She helped to keep me humble by her deep desire to serve the Lord and did not let her limitations slow her down. Thank God for Nancy’s!

  2. A wonderfully encouraging testimony. I have led teams with people of all walks of life. Once we had a young woman who was born with one short leg and one missing altogether. She mobilised with crutches and I will never forget her vaulting over the customs turnstiles! Another time a big, burly American guy built like a footballer had an unexpected panic attack. He said to me, “You’re so cool!” while sweat ran down his face. I might have been feeling calm that time, but I’d been scared enough times to understand what he was going through. I stayed with him and prayed with him until he felt OK, and we continued. I am sure he would be able to relate to Nancy. My own brother suffered from Schizophrenia and, after decades of ministry in Asia, it is very moving for me to read Nancy’s story. God bless you Nancy and thank you for coming to serve the church in Asia. Thank you Don and Joy for your part in this and your faithfulness. Thank you Kevin, for also coming and for sharing this great story.

  3. Amazing testimony of someone who is willing to love another soul, to lay it all on the line for the mission. Being calmed with prayer and identifing with one another thru the cross.

    “Sometimes God uses the most unlikely to demonstrate His glory and to reveal His presence.”

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